Although it has only been 2 months since my American adventure came to an end, it feels much longer and looking back at all the great memories leaves many fun stories to tell.
I was luckily enough to be placed at Kamp Kohut in Maine in March 2011 and not only that I was going to be teaching a sport I loved all summer- Tennis! Then it dawned on me...I don't know anyone! What if I get lost on my travels? But by the time we boarded the plane at Heathrow Airport, I was happily chatting away to other BUNAC summer campers and soon the excitement very much over took the nerves!
Then quickly begins the staff orientation once at camp which was packed with information but also made fun and engaging. As one the head counsellor wisely said to us during orientation, “It’s like we are all boarding a plane right now. The journey is going to be long, we don’t know what to expect and there may be some turbulence on the way but once we get there we’ll realise we made it, it wasn’t too bad after all and are very glad we took that journey.” It didn't take long to get into the swing of camp life. You soon get over the fear of embarrassing yourself and the first week saw me doing just that in the staff skit night. Flexibility is a key skill to have at camp as I eagerly also got involved in assisting the mountain biking made my day-to-day schedule even more varied. From trip days every Wednesday, ‘blue and white’ days every Saturday, ‘canteen’, and of course the unforgettable 3 days of ‘Olympics’ and ‘Kollege Days’ each session, made camp the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding experience of my life. I never forget the best ‘Evening Activity’ we had where as bunk bonding experience we were let loose on waters of Lake Thompson and the sail boats with my fellow counsellors and 11 12 year old girls! It was time for the role to be reserved and test our girls teaching abilities as the counsellors (including myself) had no idea what we were doing. We had so much fun even though the boat spent more time in water than on the boat!
Just remember to take a moment every day and appreciate what you’re doing as you’ll blink and you’ll find yourself loaded up with your rucksack at the end of camp anticipating the start of your travels. My journey took me everywhere from glamorous LA to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, glitzy Las Vegas to buzzing New York! I can’t decide what one was the highlight- after all you can’t really compare the adult playground of Las Vegas and the overwhelming helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. After camp you really feel such a great sense of achievement and the excitement that you have the whole of America to explore. If you are looking for such a great opportunity then I’d say just BOARD THAT PLANE!
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